Monday, 6th October, 2014
The appointment of a powerful team of three senior Ministers with primary responsibility for housing shows that the Government understands that Auckland’s housing issues are deep-seated and in need of focused attention and action.
“Simon Bridges’ appointment as Transport Minister is especially welcomed,” says Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett.
He praised former Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee for steering to the start gate a number of Auckland projects that are important to the business sector. “Transport is Auckland’s number one issue, and with a new Minister at the helm there is an opportunity for Auckland and Wellington to forge a partnership approach as we get to the sharp end of commencing the next generation of major projects agreed in principle with Government – CRL, East-West Link and next Waitemata Harbour Crossing.”
“The promotion and linking of Paula Bennett’s portfolio across local government, housing and finance is an astute move, and promises to bring fresh and connected thinking to addressing social issues facing Auckland and New Zealand” said Mr Barnett.
The portfolio name changes give direct reference to how some important issues are now perceived in a modern economy:
- “Labour” – an outdated term - in the former portfolio is more accurately reflected in the name change to “Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.” Coupled with the appointment of Michael Woodhouse, the change will bring more direct thinking to health and safety issues.
- Likewise, the renamed “Maori Affairs” portfolio to “Minister for Maori Development” reflects a more forward-looking focus and recognition that Maori Development is a big part of New Zealand’s future economic development.
“We look forward to working with new Minister of Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell and other Ministers to take forward the business-led growth agenda charted by the Government over the past six years,” concluded Mr Barnett.